The 2004 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
involved 65 schools playing in single-elimination
play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball
. It began on March 16
, and ended with the championship game on April 5
at the Alamodome
in San Antonio, Texas
. A total of 64 games were played.
This was the first year in which the regional sites were referred to by the cities in which the games were held in instead of the "East", "Midwest", "South", and "West" designations. It was also the first year that the matchups for the national semifinals were determined at least in part by the overall seeding of the top team in each regional. The top four teams in the tournament were Kentucky, Duke, Stanford, and Saint Joseph's. Had all of those teams advanced to the Final Four, Kentucky would have played Saint Joseph's and Duke would have played Stanford in the semifinal games. Only Duke advanced to the Final Four, where it played and lost to Connecticut in the semifinals. Despite being a #2 seed, Connecticut was widely considered the best team in the tournament, and many commentators felt this semifinal game should have been for the national championship.
Connecticut, coached by Jim Calhoun, won the national title with an 82-73 victory in the final game over Georgia Tech, coached by Paul Hewitt. Emeka Okafor of Connecticut was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
|| Other Locations |
| East Rutherford
|| East Rutherford, New Jersey
|| Buffalo, New York, Kansas City, Missouri, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Raleigh, North Carolina |
| St. Louis
|| St. Louis, Missouri
|| Columbus, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, Kansas City, Missouri, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Seattle, Washington |
|| Atlanta, Georgia
|| Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colorado, Orlando, Florida, Raleigh, North Carolina |
|| Phoenix, Arizona
|| Buffalo, New York, Denver, Colorado, Orlando, Florida, Seattle, Washington |
|| San Antonio, Texas
Bids by conference
, San Antonio, Texas
- April 3, 2004
- :With the Connecticut Huskies trailing by 8 points with less than 3 minutes to go, it looked as if the Duke Blue Devils were going to spoil Jim Calhoun's chance at a second national title. Connecticut's All-American center Emeka Okafor was limited to just 22 minutes because of early foul trouble, but he came up clutch with several big plays down the stretch and finished with 18 points and only 3 fouls. By contrast, all three of Duke's centers fouled out, including Shelden Williams, who committed his fifth foul with 3:04 to play. In addition, Duke went without a field goal for the last 4 1/2 minutes until Chris Duhon's meaningless three-pointer at the buzzer. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was denied his 65th NCAA Tournament victory which would have tied him with Dean Smith for the all-time record.
- :Will Bynum's layup in the final moments kept the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets dream for a National Championship alive as they defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys, in a nail-biter, in the first of the National Semifinal doubleheader. Georgia Tech led for most of the game including a seven-point edge at halftime. However, Oklahoma State was able to tie the game on John Lucas's three-pointer with 26.3 seconds left. Georgia Tech then milked the clock which set up Bynum's game-winner. Georgia Tech advanced to their first ever National Championship appearance. Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton was denied yet another chance at an elusive national title.
National Championship Game
- April 5, 2004
- :The 2004 National Championship Game proved to be a coronation for the Connecticut Huskies as they handled Paul Hewitt's Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The final nine-point margin of victory for the Huskies was misleading, as Connecticut led 60-35 midway through the second Half. Georgia Tech's rare inability to hit the three in the game contributed as much to the loss for the Jackets as anything UConn did. Tech shot only 31%, 7 of 22, from behind the arch including making 3 of their final 4 attempts to close the gap, meaning the Jackets were an uncharacteristic 4 of 18 before the stretch run. In addition the Jackets shot only 57% from the freethrow line. Had Tech managed to equal their tournament production up to this point in these two areas the outcome of the game could have been different. Emeka Okafor led Connecticut with 24 points and was an easy choice for Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Guard Ben Gordon added 21 points to Connecticut's cause. The victory gave Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun his second National Championship (1999).
East Rutherford Regional
St. Louis Regional